This is a creative writing team exercise! It’s only for fun, and to help folks dive into character development.
Minimum post length: 250 +/- 10 words
Maximum post length: 2500 +/- 10 words.
You must not post twice in a row, as this is a team exercise!
Have fun!! The content you write here counts for Clusters of Ice (1 cluster for 500 words of fiction)!
“Are we there yet!?”
A look of consternation crossed the shuttle pilot’s brow. She was accustomed to shuttling folks on covert missions, but unaccustomed to the high profile passengers she had been asked to drop in Collective space. “You folks better buckle up… We’ll breach the ionosphere in just under a minute,” she shouted politely over the roar of the engines as she carefully adjusted her grip on the controls. The shuttle banked in response as she veered the vessel towards the penumbral line that divided the night from the day. Brow furrowed in determination, her right hand absently reached for the safety harness that clicked safely into position just before she hit the top most part of the planet’s atmosphere.
Both hands again on the pilot controls, she felt the ship shudder through the yoke as she plummeted towards the night side of the planet, atmospheric eddies assaulting the ship as it traversed the harsh heat barrier from Nancora’s sun into the turbulous winds that eddied towards the dark side of the planet. She pulled on the yoke with all her strength, pushing off the deck with both feet in order to help her steady the vessel and lift its nose into a safer angle of approach.
Meanwhile, in the back of the shuttle, the ship’s engines continued to whine as Calindra followed the imperial officer’s trek back towards his safety harness. The imperial officer made it back just as the the deck plates started to shake and groan violently as the ship suddenly hit Nancora’s upper atmosphere. They all felt the ship shudder as the pilot compensated for the strain on the ship’s haul. It eventually straightened, and the vibrations coming from the deck plates seemed to diminish.
“A bit more warning next time,” another growled towards the piloting cabin, after narrowly escaping the worst of the turbulence given his cat-like reflexes as he clipped himself back into his seat.
As the pilot pitted her will against the dangers of atmospheric re-entry, Calindra had temporarily forgotten her miseries. Suddenly buoyed by the need to survive the descent, a thirst for life suddenly took over, the adrenaline fueling her mood and chasing away the cobwebs that had dulled her mind these past months. Suddenly, the problems she had experienced as she failed to bend the Force around her to go undetected seemed a distant and insignificant problem when suddenly faced with the dark and light brown orb of the planet looming menacingly in the viewport next to her.
She looked away and caught her reflection in one of the dark bulbous eyes of the Nautolan next to her; considered another passenger’s tiger-like grey fur and the long scar on his left jaw line straight up past his eye. She then shifted her attention to the woman sitting next to him. All dressed in their hazard suits, everyone was ready for the planet’s toxic Type IV atmosphere, clutching on tightly to their helmets while the ship fell towards Nancora’s badlands.
And like a Nephilim, they fell. Through dark and bright, starry night; through wind-swept dust eddies and brown clouds of radioactive sand-dust; towards jagged rock and stone, towards ancient cities devoured by the Nancoran sun; the roar of the engines resounding through her as sweat trickled down her back, when a sudden deafening calm overcame them.
The ship suddenly lurched upwards as her and her surprised teammates finally traversed the dust clouds. Mind reeling from the sudden understanding, Calindra focused on the speckles of lights that dotted the rocky ridges far below. They were freefalling towards a much darker, lightless-patch as the shuttle plummeted engine-less towards Nancora’s Badlands, the weight of the acceleration pushing everyone upwards into their seats…